Person shoveling a sidewalk with snow on it

New York City property owners and managers possess a legal duty to clear public walkways of snow and ice within a specific timeframe. If they fail to do this, they can be held liable for any injuries you sustain from slipping and falling.

These accidents can be serious

As New Yorkers, we all know the amount of snow and ice we can expect as the temperature drops. While the snow, in particular, often creates some picturesque scenes here in Manhattan, it can cause serious injuries when pedestrians slip and fall. At Friedman, Levy Goldfarb & Green, we have seen that an accident like this can change your life forever. If this has happened to you, contact an experienced New York City slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible.

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What does the law require?

This legal duty applies to homeowners, property managers, and business owners. The law gives them a specified timeframe after the snow and ice stops falling to clear public sidewalks and walkways surrounding their property. Further, it must be removed so that it doesn’t create dangerous areas–such as piles of snow that block a walkway. If the ice is so intractable– that they cannot remove it right away without doing damage to the pavement– they must spread salt, sand, or sawdust.

Further, if there is a fire hydrant or bus stop in front of the property, the owner or manager has a duty to clear those surrounding areas of snow and ice. They must also clear access to their buildings, parking lots, and driveways. This is still required even if a city-operated snowplow created a pile of snow or ice. Moreover, these areas must be cleared without moving any of the snow or ice onto a city street.

Inside the premises, the owner or manager must keep the floors dry, which often requires frequent mopping to address the snow and ice tracked in by patrons. Signs that read “wet floor” should also be affixed to alert customers and employees of the dangerous conditions.

How long do they have to clear the snow or ice?

Under the NYC Administrative Code, if the snow and ice stops falling between 7 AM and 5 PM, then the property owner or manager has four hours to remove it. If the snow or ice stops between 5 PM and 9 PM, they have 14 hours to remove it. If the ice or snow stops between 9 PM and 7 AM, they have until 11 AM to clear it. Violators of this law are subject to fines or imprisonment.

What are your rights?

You may have a premises liability claim against a property owner or manager if you slip and fall due to their violation of this law. If you are injured due to a property owner or manager’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Who is Responsible for a Slip and Fall Accident on an Icy NYC Sidewalk?

Depending on the facts of your case, several parties–including the city, various state government entities, and property owners–may be responsible for a slip-and-fall accident on an icy sidewalk. Under New York Law, they are required to keep their sidewalks and walkways clear of ice and snow.

In most circumstances, New York City property owners have four hours to clear sidewalks after the conclusion of a storm. If the snow stops falling between:

7 AM and 5 PM, the sidewalk must be cleared within 4 hours

5 PM and 9 PM, the sidewalk must be cleared within 14 hours

9 PM and 7 AM, the sidewalk must be cleared by 11 AM.

However, if it has been coated with ice and cannot be removed, the owner must treat the area with salt, sand, or another suitable material within this time frame. If they fail to meet these conditions, they may be held liable for any damages that occur as a result.

Most slip and fall accidents occur on privately-owned property, meaning the owner is liable for injuries sustained due to their negligence. Still, icy sidewalk slip and falls occur in other places, such as on property owned by either the city or the state. In this case, you will need to file a Notice of Claim or Notice of Intention to File a Claim within 90 days of your accident. Once you file this notice, you’ll have one year and 90 days from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit.

Contact us for a free consultation

Our attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green have been representing New Yorkers for over 50 years. A personal injury attorney in NYC is standing by right now to handle your case. We are available 24/7 and work on a contingency-fee-basis, so there are no upfront costs.

We look forward to advocating for you.

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